Toying with the idea of revamping your kitchen space but not in the market for a full renovation? Follow our 12-step programme to add a little extra kudos to your cooking zone.
1 BEAUTIFUL BLACK
Let's face it, fads come and go. You could argue the merits of high-gloss versus chalky matte finish all day long. If you're looking to make a statement with your kitchen colour choice but worry the shade may date, opt for black. This is a strong, sophisticated?colour that never gets old. A simple way to introduce this classic hue is to opt for black cabinetry or countertops, offset with white and metallic highlights, as per?this Laxarby Ikea kitchen.
2 CLEAN & CLEAR
Don't neglect?the daily essentials. Often, without noticing, we're drinking out of dull, dishwasher-streaked glasses and chipped, mismatched mugs that do nothing to whet the appetite. A cupboard clear-out and a small investment in a new set will enhance every cup of tea made and glass of water drunk. A small, simple pleasure - but aren't they the best?
3 NATURAL PALETTE
We're loving the restful, soothing quality of the new natural palette. There is nothing shouty about these soft organic tones - on the contrary, it's all?about muted comfort - imbuing your kitchen and dining space with a sense of calm (good for the soul as well as the digestion!). Faded fabrics add an air of working authenticity to any kitchen.
4 NATURAL FABRICS
Introduce natural fabrics and materials for an instant injection of texture. There is something so pleasurable about using natural materials in the modern home. They breathe life into the space and save a contemporary fit-out from looking sterile. The Bray Linen bags above are by Rowen & Wren.
An affordable way to bring textured, tactile natural materials into your dining space can be through well-chosen utensils. If you?can't afford the marble counter, then opt?for a marble chopping board instead.
6 MEGA METALLICS
While silver, chrome and stainless steel are certainly not banished from the kitchen, these days it's all about warmer metals like gold, copper and bronze. The gleaming finish provides a stunning accent to most palette choices and pair particularly well with contemporary greys, dark moody blues and any of the soft chalky shades.
7 MIDNIGHT BLUES
Think inky as opposed to icy when it comes to picking this season's perfect shade of marvellously moody blue. What you're looking for here is an earthy blue - a hue that says cosy rather than cool. The darker the better. It's a perfect shade?for creating arresting kitchen cabinetry.
When it comes to clever storage, don't forget to make the most of your wall space. Elevated storage solutions rock and we love Ikea's?Falsterbo hook racks, €19, - ideal to install in a small utility room to hang sweeping brushes, aprons, dustpan and brush, and so on.
9 COOL GADGETS
If there is a piece of kit in your kitchen that you use every day, such as a coffeemaker, kettle or steamer, it's well worth making the investment in a superior quality version. There is a particular satisfaction you get from using something daily that is really well made, as it whirrs?and purrs and works like a dream.
Our passion for all things natural in the world of interiors continues apace. We're loving anything aquatic or botanical in mood with a colour palette inspired by the sea, lakes, clouds, and the natural landscape. Get ready to dive in.
11 CREATURE? COMFORT
Make mealtimes more fun by inviting some of these exotic sea creatures into your home. These melamine plates with their marine-inspired designs have the look and feel of hand-painted ceramic but can be bunged in the dishwasher and taken to the beach when the sun shines.
12 SUNNY STYLE
Banish beige and update your kitchen splashback with a riot of glorious colour in the form of Moroccan and Mediterranean-inspired encaustic (traditional brightly patterned cement) tiles. You'll find a wide range at tiles.ie, firedearth.com and ryleandcompany.ie.
Taking your dining outdoors? Our current issue has a treasure trove of lighting, furniture and linens to elevate al fresco eating. Pick it up from a newsagents near you!?